Working hard for a startup can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever experience. It also can damn near kill you.
Your ability to walk through the really tough times will ultimately determine your success. Those that survive will eventually see their work rewarded and most will end up accelerating their careers in ways they couldn’t have really ever imagined.
The difference between those that really pull out big and those that do not is not about the amount of work done (all early team members are working really hard … or should be) but how the person is able to cope with the stress, anxiety, and hardships that are inevitable.
Taking care of yourself and your team is of utmost importance. Sure, it’s okay if the work is hard and sometimes long but if you find yourself consistently tired, sore, exhausted, stressed out, and lonely… then you’re doing it wrong and the environment is nothing short of toxic.
Even the best of companies with the best intentions get this seriously wrong and all the small issues can start adding up really quickly.
No one wants to be useless but you won’t be useful if you’re not well. And it starts with the leadership as a model for the staff and as mentors for their team.